In Neocene climatic conditions in Australia/Meganesia became more favorable for life. Water had come to central areas of this island continent, having transformed deserts to savanna with circuit of shallow-water rivers and lakes. In such favorable conditions many new species of animals have appeared on continent.
The fauna of Meganesia of Neocene epoch represents fantastical combination of descendants of native marsupial mammals and introduced by people placentary ones. Epizooties of rabies and plague of carnivores have reduced chances of survival of introduced placentary predators to zero, but the competition to them had perfected features of adaptation at local marsupial Carnivores, and had permited to few survived ones to take place at top of food pyramid. Among large-sized herbivores it is possible to meet not only graceful and harmonous descendants of camels found due to the people new native land in Meganesia, but massive marsupial animals too. And among small and medium-sized animals marsupials successfully compete to rabbits and rodents introduced to this continent. Among dense grass of Meganesian savanna it is possible to see strange object: something similar to white flower, sticking up on hairy stalk. But, when this object starts to move among grass stalks, it becomes clearly seening, that it is not a plant but any animal. From time to time the owner of this “flower” rears on hinder legs, and it can be seen more detailly. It is a cat-sized animal covered with short wool. At it there are long flexible nose surrounded with thin wiskers, round eyes and ears similar to rabbit’s ones. Well advanced claws are appreciable on strong paws of this animal. And the thing looking like certain fantastic “flower” actually is very long tail. At the tip of tail hairs are modified to white-colored needles with black bases forming hairy brush. For such appearance of this structure the animal had received the name “spiketail”. It has habit to lift from time to time tail vertically upwards: this way spiketail communicates with neighbours at long distance. A certain species of Australian marsupial mice had become an ancestor of the spiketail. Colouring of animal is rather motley: the body is covered with brown wool with dim black speckles, the mouth is led round by thin strip of white wool. On the back of marsupial spiketail there are some alternating black and white cross strips. All tail is black, and white needles are brightly appreciable on its background. Being attacked by predator, spiketail warns it that it is armed, curving back like a cat, lifting up tail, and shrilly squealing. If it does not stop predator, the spiketail protects itself against it by impacts of tail. In the basis of each spike there is a muscle attached by one end to backbone. With the help of such muscles the spiketail can press spikes to each other, forming “beater” or to spread them widely in sides, forming true weapon which impact can be rather painful. Defending itself against predator, marsupial spiketail turns around on hinder legs, keeping to aggressor by side and swinging by tail extensively. In mouth of spiketail it is possible to see both sharp incisors and canines, and wide knobby molars. The marsupial spiketail has a little deviated from diet of ancestors: it is omnivorous (marsupial mice are predators), and the most part of its diet consists of plants. The animal is able to dig out roots from ground, dexterously swarms up bushes and low trees in searches of fruits, chews unripe seeds of grasses. But it also likes to diversify the diet with food of animal origin. On trees and in bush marsupial spiketail searches for small reptiles, large insects and bird’s nests. In the ground except for roots spiketail willingly finds and swallows worm or larva of any insect. By smell it finds the rests of predator meal, and with pleasure gnaws bones and cartilages. These animals are solitaries, but they support visual contact to neighbours, from time to time rising on hinder legs and looking around. They usually avoid close meetings, preferring to leave an urine mark on objects allocated among savanna – trunks of trees, termitaries and stones. Unique exception is a time of breeding season. At this time marsupial spiketails gather to small groups – approximately fifty-fifty females and males. Males compete with each other for females, establishing hierarchy in short duels. During such tournaments they beat each other by tail, but in this case needles are densely compressed and do not cause wounds to the opponent. After pairing the male loses interest to the female and starts to look after for next one. Thus it jumps after chosen female on hinder legs, uttering keen chirp and snort. Each female couples with several males, therefore paternity at these animals is difficult to establish. Sometimes in one pack cubs at once from two males can appear. After short pregnancy the female gives rise to about ten tiny underdeveloped cubs. But the chance to survive is not at all of them: at the female there are only six nipples. The pouch at this animal is presented by two longitudinal plicas of skin, surrounding nipples from two sides. This skin is elastic, therefore cubs are not threatened with danger to drop out of it. They develop in pouch about three months, and to this time from six cubs only three or four ones survive. Grown up cubs move on back of mother, and it drags them on herself one month more. At this time on tails of young animals needles start to grow. Gradually cubs pass from milk to adult diet, and start to feed near mother independently, at the same time training at it to ways of food getting. Half-year old cub already becomes completely independent. The young female can bear posterity first time already at one-year-old age.